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Automotive SEO: Blogging for Beginners

You’ve heard it before: content is king in SEO. Your dealership can be successful at content marketing by creating and maintaining a blog. Not only is blogging an effective way to promote your car dealership, but it also adds value for your customers and supports your automotive SEO strategy. The automotive digital marketing experts at Opportunity Max have compiled some tips on how to get started as a blogger for your dealership.

Blog about what you already know.

Since you spend your day around cars, you probably know more about them than the average person. Take advantage of that knowledge and share it with others. Whether you write about ways to prepare your car for changing seasons, or the features of a new model available at your dealership, odds are that you know more than your customer.

Don’t over-think.

One of the most difficult things about blogging is “getting in the zone.” Putting too much pressure on the final product can stifle your creativity and make your blog appear unnatural or forced. Sit down and let your thoughts flow. After you have a decent amount of content written, it’s best to take a short break and come back later to edit with fresh eyes. Before publishing your blog, let someone else read it and offer suggestions on final tweaks or edits.

Be accountable.

When deciding to develop your dealership’s blog, it’s important to hold yourself accountable. Your customers trust that the information you’re offering is factual and honest. Do your due-diligence to fact check yourself and only share content and information that is accurate. Secondly, hold yourself accountable to a blogging schedule. Blogging should become a frequent and consistent part of your monthly or weekly schedule. Make deadlines for yourself and stick to them.

Utilize experts.

You work at a car dealership — you’re surrounded by car experts and enthusiasts. Use your team to brainstorm content ideas covering a variety of topics. Sit down with your Finance Manager or Fixed Ops Manager and find out what questions customers ask most frequently. Use your blog as an opportunity to answer some of these ‘frequently asked questions’ and concerns.

Spread what you have.

After you’ve posted your blog article, help that content to live beyond your blog by promoting it through other channels. Linking your blog to your dealership’s Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages is a great way to expand your potential audience. Blogs can also serve as excellent social media content. With the recent changes to the Facebook algorithm, your posts are more likely to be seen in a newsfeed if they contain a quality link.

Is blogging already a part of your automotive SEO strategy? If so, are there other tips you’ve found successful in blogging for your car dealership? Let us know on our Google+ or Facebook page.

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Tags: automotive, blogging, dealership, seo

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Comment by Alexander Lau on February 28, 2014 at 6:25am

Don't forget Social Syndication Tools and how they relate to your blog.

Comment by Alexander Lau on February 10, 2014 at 8:21am

Comment by Alexander Lau on February 3, 2014 at 7:16am

You win Kelly, I deleted my posts. Like I've said, if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen.

The first post deleted, showed over 1,800 blog posts that were developed on dealers' websites (on-site), using a proprietary mechanism that pulls in WordPress content / data, so Google hyper respects the structure. As well, I showed how those blogs have converted over time, which is what you want. 

Comment by Brian Bennington on February 1, 2014 at 4:01pm

Here I am, being careless again.  In my 1st comments (January 25th), I noted how important your observation was about editing when you blog, and mentioned in my last paragraph how I'd never trust myself to proof my own writing when I'm doing it professionally.  Then, in the comments I made yesterday, which were on my own time, after rereading them, I noticed in the 1st paragraph I wrote "I would worry...."  It should be, "I wouldn't worry...."  If nothing else, it substantiates the importance of your "Don't over-think" tip and confirms why I have at least two, and often three of my co-workers, proof absolutely everything when I'm writing for others.

Take heart in knowing that nothing makes me angrier, more depressed and "self loathing" than my own typos!  Just know that now, when I'm feeling lower than a "snake's belly," I'm still looking forward to your next post.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 31, 2014 at 4:15pm

Kelly, ever since we launched the ADM Professional Community almost seven years ago, we have maintained an overall community etiquette that opinions are encouraged, whether we agree or not... In fact, some of the most valuable exchanges come when the commenters disagree with the author and state their reasons why. Now, with that said we do have each blog post features set up so that the author can choose to moderate and publish or not publish a comment.  This is not the case with the ADM Forum section where once a comments or response is posted, the author can no longer delete the post. That is set up that way precisely because this is not a site where business people are communicating to retail customers... ADM is a professional community where differences of opinion can be aired and heard by anyone who registers and discloses who they are without fake information in their profile.

I would like you to consider, and this is not mandatory, but rather a suggestion... That you allow differences of opinion types of comments to be posted so as to raise your own level of professionalism, encourage discussion and dialogue (dare I say "Engagement"?) and let the community help you support any conclusions you have arrived at or are recommending as a best practice in automotive retail... I may not always agree with Alexander Lau, but I respect his contributions to our community as a provocative thought leader and the conversations his comments stimulate quite frequently draw more attention to the issue you were raising in the first place.

Comment by Brian Bennington on January 31, 2014 at 4:06pm

Thank you, Kelly.  I'm so happy you responded to my last entry.  I've only been an ADM member for a year and have only posted one article, so I'm not familiar with how spamming could happen to a blog.  As for inappropriate comments, I would worry about them if I were you.  I'm sure Ralph would intercede if something was too far out of line.  And, as for delivering information to novices, keep it up.  There's not nearly enough of it posted.

My friend Alexander is an interesting fellow.  While we've never met except here, he seems exceptionally "IT" knowledgable and has a great sense of humor, but I've regularly commented to him and several of the other "IT Master" members to write with a larger audience in mind.  My favorite blog to date was earlier this month from Timothy Martell when he wrote "Three reasons to fire your website vendor."  Its construction, reasoning, talking points and ease-of-understanding were all first class.  Surprisingly, he only used two acronyms, and both were well-known.

My business is Relationship Centered Marketing, devoted exclusively to customer retention and referral generation via postal mailed contacts.  I personally practiced it for 20 years and have done it for another 20+ for my clients.  As archaic and "old school" to you as it may sound, there's a type of "romance" it delivers devoid in IT communications.  While I couldn't explain anything about IT except maybe its most basic rudiments, I love espousing the effectiveness and profitability of what I do and relish the chance to "take on all comers" as to the importance of romance in its many forms in every interaction between people.

The next time you post and you get some form of disagreement or criticism, take up a "fighting stance" and go after 'em.  I know you can hold your own, and I'd bet anyone who would actually get a little negative with you would respect you for your fight, even if they didn't agree with you.  Plus, you'd have to agree a little "pepper" can make a dish a lot more interesting!  

          

Comment by Kelly Young on January 31, 2014 at 2:42pm

Hi Brian - I set up functionality so that I can review comments prior to them posting on the blog. It is also a best practice to monitor blog comments to avoid spamming or inappropriate comments. This blog post was intended for novice bloggers and was tailored as such. Some responses this has received seemed to slam that approach, hence there were not published.

Comment by Brian Bennington on January 30, 2014 at 2:47pm

Hey Kelly, I've noticed Alexander Lau's comments have disappeared on your blog.  Is there some reason for this?  I emailed him directly and he thinks you "Locked the thread" on him, whatever that means.  Just to keep a pleasant atmosphere on our ADM site as we all have common interests, would you please email him to clear this up.  Alexander is a good guy and I'm sure you'd see "eye to eye" with a little old fashioned communication.

I suggested to him that you both should work this out amicably.  ADM is a place for opinions and, while there can be differences, no member or comment should be more important than any other member or their comment. A big advantage to being considerably older than both of you is my realization that things are never "black & white," just various shades of grey.  (The big disadvantage is I'll be "sleeping with the fishes" long before the both of you....)

And, for heaven's sake, keep blogging like this one.

Comment by Kelly Young on January 26, 2014 at 6:36pm

Hi Brian - thanks for the feedback. I grew up with a father who was a General Sales Manager of a dealership, so I can appreciate the time constraints that that position brings. Staying up on daily tasks in addition to continuing to add value can be a challenge. I can say that even as a 'non-novice' that I still use these tips myself. :)

Comment by Brian Bennington on January 25, 2014 at 2:41pm

Nice job, Kelly!  An informative read for those of us who are just learning about blogging.  Short, concise, and written to fit in a schedule that doesn't leave much research time.  Too many of the ADM posts disregard the novice even though many of the members are just that, including any number of dealership personnel who very likely could benefit the authors of those "written almost exclusively for IT experts, yet are unintelligible to almost everyone else" blogs.  I don't think they grasp the concept that their "wisdom" can not only be confusing to the "beginner," it can be downright aggravating.

Really, four of your five tips are great advice for all information-delivering composition, not just blogs.  I especially liked your point about the "pause and then edit" suggestion, and your comment about having at least one other person proof your blog before publishing is solid gold advice.  My 20 year rule for the writing I'm paid to do for others is a minimum of two of our team must sign-off on it, for both content and construction.  I do "break" that rule, but only when I'm responding to something on my own time like this, but it always "comes home to roost" when I reread a response I've given and find some damnedable and usually simple typo!   

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